In our previous Wisdom Note, we explored how wise it is to cherish the times of silence, either while being alone or with others. These bits of wisdom help us to live rich and satisfying lives while creating a living legacy. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please visit the blog to read past notes.
I have found that many people in life are not happy. Some of this is due to looking for happiness in wrong or inappropriate places. Happiness is based on how we choose to view or accept situations in life that come our way. Success and happiness aren’t easy to achieve. It takes a lot of time, hard work, and choosing the right attitude to get there. That’s why, along the way, you’ve got to take advantage of moments—those brief periods of time each day when all can be right in your world. As I have said several times, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” Throughout our daily trek of life, here are nine moments worth experiencing every day.
1. A Moment of Laughter
William James said, “We don’t laugh because we’re happy—we’re happy because we laugh.” There’s physiological evidence that shows that laughing puts you in a better mood. Take time every day to laugh and you’ll find it’s both contagious and uplifting. Surround yourself with funny people, find opportunities to laugh at yourself, and laugh your way to success in any area of life.
2. A Moment of Celebration
This is how Tony Robbins puts it, “Say to yourself, here is an opportunity for you to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.” We don’t take the time to celebrate small successes—or even big successes—enough. At the end of every day take at least one moment per day to celebrate the good in your life. Even if they are in small situations.
3. A Moment of Reflection
Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, the force of character, and judgment.” We all lead such busy lives. It’s important to be able to take at least one moment each day where we do nothing but think. Put your phone away, get somewhere by yourself, and simply reflect on the day. Take the good from those reflections and determine how they can be applied to decisions in the future.
4. A Moment of Stillness
Yesterday we invested our time on how it is wise to be silent at times. Morgan Freeman put it this way, “Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen —that stillness becomes a radiance.” There’s reflection, and then there’s true stillness —the ability to shut off everything, including your mind, and get into a meditative state. The busier your life is, the more valuable it is to practice moments of stillness. Prayer, yoga, and meditation are the most popular ways to get into a state of stillness if only for a moment. Stillness brings us in touch with God as it says in Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
5. A Moment of Pride
A lot of people associate the word “pride” with something negative. But you have so much to be proud of. God made you special; you are completely unique. King David wrote in Psalms 139:14, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” You can afford to take a least one moment each day where you sit back and appreciate all that you have done and the good person that you were able to bring into the world. Take pride in the little things you’ve accomplished in the last day. Michael Crichton says, “All your life, other people will try to take your accomplishments away from you. Don’t you take it away from yourself.”
6. A Moment of Humility
Pride in your accomplishments is great, but so is a moment of humility in which you appreciate your tiny role in the profoundly large universe around you. When we take a moment to appreciate the amazing world around us, it’s hard not to be happy for all that we have. The popular quote by C.S. Lewis sums it up, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”
7. A Moment of Connection
Humans are made in God’s image, and we desire fellowship with each other just as God does with us. Take at least one moment a day to connect with the people around you—your spouse, friends, and family. Hold someone’s hand, give someone a hug, or cuddle with someone. Your happiness isn’t just about you; it’s about others. Dean Ornish said, “The need for connection and community is necessary, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.”
8. A Moment of Joy
Laughter is great but joy is even more powerful. Take a moment to experience the joy of your kids or family, the joy of your spiritual connections, or the joy you can find in play, music, dance, or work. Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians 4:4, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Ralph Marston writes it this way, “If you so choose, each day can be filled with even more joy than the one before. If you so choose, even the most seemingly random events can work in your favor.”
9. A Moment of Gratitude
Finally, take a moment each day to express gratitude for what you have—for the people in your life, the experiences you’ve had and will have, and the world around you. You can’t physically feel angry or upset and grateful at the same time, so just taking a moment of gratitude will make you happier. Make a habit of writing down all that you are thankful for. Ephesians 5:20 says, “And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Along our trek, we stopped to ponder 9 moments that will bring us happiness each day if we take the time to consider them. Next we will hike on the trail and look for the 9 ways to stay young. In addition to our Wisdom Notes, encourage your friends and family to also join us on our daily podcast for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.